Quinoa and Bean Pilaf

Apr 13, 2013 by

It has been a while since I’ve had some quinoa. Thankfully, the lifestyle challenge that I am participating in with some friends encouraged me to find recipes using my favourite grain. My friends couldn’t have asked me to join at a better time. I  needed to shake things up a bit, specifically with regards to my eating habits.

I have worked so hard to eat well and to set an example for my children. My health has been okay over the past few years (only a few chronic pain episodes) but my husband and children have taken priority. I take care of them in every way. But if it is one thing I have to remember – if Mommy isn’t well, everyone suffers. Now that wasn’t meant to be a harsh statement in any way. Those who know me will understand me clearly. My priority should be to take care of me, so that I can take care of the ones I love. It sounds simple as I type, but when day-to-day routine comes around, I really don’t have time to figure things out. It’s really just go, go, go!

And that’s why it is important to get rid of old habits and create new ones that will stick. I was reminded over the past few weeks that preparation is the key to success. Last week’s challenge was to commit to eating whole grains and legumes,  and not to consume meat. Eating well has never been a problem for me. It has been preparation that seems to get me. New routines have caused me to find whatever I can prepare quickly, and clearly that isn’t always best. I’m working on improving that. I enjoy planning and being prepared, so this challenge has really allowed me to dust off that skill of mine. Of the few things I made, I really wanted to share this Quinoa dish. I adapted this Bean and Pilaf recipe from The Food Network, and as always I used what I had available to me when it came to the ingredients.

 Quinoa and Bean Pilaf_1

 

Since the start of the challenge, I have made a few things that I really enjoyed and wanted to share some of them here. I shared the photos on my Facebook page and will continue to do so occasionally during the challenge. I will post the really good ones.

Quick Meals LC2013

  

Quinoa and Bean Pilaf

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

  • Grapeseed oil for sauteeing
  • 1 Scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 Cup Quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Carrot, washed, scraped and sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Sweet Corn
  • 1/2 Cup Edamame
  • 1 19oz can Dark Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Cups Baby Spinach
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese for serving
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, sautee scallions and celery over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper
  3. Stir in the tomato paste
  4. Add the quinoa and then the broth. Gently stir to combine
  5. Add the carrots and beans, then cover and bring to a simmer
  6. Check every 5 minutes until the broth is fully absorbed
  7. Add the sweet corn and edamame. Stir to combine
  8. When the liquid is fully absorbed, remove pot from heat and stir in spinach
  9. Transfer to plates and top with shredded cheese
  10. Serve and enjoy hot
http://lovelypantry.com/2013/04/quinoa-and-bean-pilaf/

 

Red Kidney Beans have been a part of my diet for the better part of my adult life. I usually use it one dish – my Rice and Peas. I’m loving the versatility of beans. An awesome way to get fiber and protein.

 Dark Red Kidney Beans

 

As always, when cooking with delicate greens like spinach, you add at the very end once the pot has been removed from the heat source.

 

Quinoa and Bean Pilaf_3

 

This one pot dish could easily be a mid-week supper. It is easy to make, filling and wonderfully good for you.

 Quinoa and Bean Pilaf_2

 

If you are looking for a quick and healthy meal, try this one. It is easy to customize based off what you have available in your fridge or pantry.

 

 

Quinoa and Bean Pilaf_4

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Chicken with Sauteed Asparagus and Lemons #SundaySupper

Apr 7, 2013 by

Keeping the food budget under control is an important aspect of running a home. I learned this from experience. While trying to cut food costs, creativity is a must. I try not to go too wild at the grocery store but, as a food blogger I see so many possibilities whenever I go shopping! But no matter what, I try to make my meals healthy and attractive – especially the budget friendly meals!

Today’s theme for #SundaySupper is budget friendly meals. Such awesome inspiration! Our hosts today are Lane from Supper For A Steal and Pam from Blueberries And Blessings. Please be sure to check the recipe’s from the links below.

Over the past few weeks, I have been making a few changes to my diet. Kindly pardon my lack of posts recently. All will fall into place soon. I will show you some of what I have been making very soon. Today’s recipe is a refreshing spring dish. I deviated from my original idea which was lemon chicken (didn’t turn our the way I hoped)…and ended up with this recipe. Panko crusted chicken breasts with Sauteed Asparagus with Lemon Slices and Capers.

 

Chicken & Sauteed Asparagus with Lemon_1

 

 

Chicken with Sauteed Asparagus and Lemons #SundaySupper

Ingredients

  • 5 Chicken Breast Cutlets (or 2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 bunch Asparagus, washed and trimmed
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Cloves garlic, Sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Capers, rinsed
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  1. Brush both sides of each piece of chicken with mustard, then sprinkle with salt and pepper
  2. Coat each piece with the breadcrumbs
  3. In a large skillet, heat grapeseed oil over medium high heat
  4. Brown garlic in the oil. Discard garlic.
  5. In batches, brown each piece of chicken on both sides until nicely browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside
  6. Slice the lemon in half. Cut one half into slices.
  7. In a large skillet, add a tablespoon of oil and bring to a medium heat.
  8. Gently sautee the asparagus for about 6 minutes. Add the capers and the lemon slices. Add the juice of the other half of the lemon.
  9. Sautee for about 3 minutes more
  10. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (to taste)
  11. Plate and serve
http://lovelypantry.com/2013/04/chicken-with-sauteed-asparagus-and-lemons-sundaysupper/

 

This recipe is easy, healthy and affordable. Could anyone resist spring asparagus? Bright lemons? Not me. It also fits well into the changes I’m making to my diet. I will be reducing my processed carbohydrate intake for the next few months. So this means more fresh ingredients in my kitchen, as it should be.

I really do like to cook my chicken in oil fragrant with garlic. It gives such wonderful flavour.

 

Chicken with Sauteed Asparagus and Lemon_2a

Chicken & Sauteed Asparagus with Lemon-42

 

Such an easy and affordable spring recipe. Do you have great, tasty, healthy budget recipes? Please tell me about them in the comments below.

 

Chicken & Sauteed Asparagus with Lemon-55

Chicken & Sauteed Asparagus with Lemon and Capers

 

Here are the amazing budget friendly recipes from the #SundaySupper team.

Starters, Soups, and Salads

Main

Sides

Drinks and Desserts

 

 ***

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement.

Announcing the Food & Wine Conference sponsored by Sunday Supper!It’s being held July 19th – 21st in beautiful, sunny Orlando, FL. It’s a must for food bloggers. Check it out by clicking here → Food & Wine Conference

 

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Orange Cake with Orange Syrup #SundaySupper

Mar 31, 2013 by

Happy Easter Sunday! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. I am almost at the end of a four-day Easter weekend. We had our very first Spring-like day yesterday and I got a chance to spend the day out with my family. I’m so ready for April! The last 2 weeks in March were pretty taxing, but everything seems to be returning to somewhat “normal”. Apparently March 31st is National Oranges and Lemons Day! For today’s #SundaySupper, we are sharing with you some of our best citrus recipes. I’m absolutely loving the line up! Our fun and fabulous host is Jen from Juanita’s Cocina!

I love Oranges in my cooking and baking. I must admit, I don’t  include it enough but when I do, it’s always great. When I baked my first orange cake a few months ago, I was so impressed with the fact that I could utilize the whole orange and not just the juice OR the zest. I was very disappointed when I misplaced that recipe and could not find it in time for today’s post. I will find it, but I know it will take some time. This recipe is just as good and the syrup is a winner!

 

Orange Cake with Orange Syrup_1

 

Orange Cake with Orange Syrup #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Recipe from the book "500 Cakes" by Susannah Blake

Ingredients

  • 1 Orange
  • 1 1/2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 Cup Superfine Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 1/4 Self-Rising Cake & Pastry Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking gSoda
  • 4 Tbsp Ground Almond
  • Orange Syrup: The zest and juice from an orange + 1/4 Cup Granulated Suagr

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375F
  2. Grease a 10 inch spring form cake pan, line with parchment and set aside
  3. Grate the zest of the orange and set aside
  4. Remove the flesh of the orange ensuring the pith and any seeds are removed. Place the flesh and any remaining juice into a food processor and blend until smooth, about 20-30 seconds
  5. In a medium bowl, sift in flour and baking soda. Set aside.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and the butter. Beat the eggs one at a time until incorporated.
  7. Gradually fold in the flour until combined and then fold in the ground almond
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  9. Allow to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack
  10. To make syrup: In a small saucepan, add orange zest, orange juice and sugar. Gradually bring to a boil then stir. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take care not to leave the saucepan unattended. Remove from heat when the syrup has a sticky consistency. It will continue to thicken as it cools
http://lovelypantry.com/2013/03/orange-cake-with-orange-syrup-sundaysupper/

 

Fact: I do not enjoy eating oranges. But I will drink the juice, cook and bake with the zest, juice and flesh. Strangest thing I’ve ever heard.

 

Baking with oranges gives not only a pleasant aroma, and a gorgeous hue, but also a very light and fresh taste to the cake. This recipe did not require a full cup of sugar as the orange gave it additional sweetness. By itself though, this cake is not a very sweet cake. Its partner does a great job where the true sweetness is concerned.

 

Orange Cake with Orange Syrup_3

 

I’m not sure why I had not thought of blending the flesh of the orange before. Total genius. Not only do I get the juice, but I get the added fiber from the orange as well.

 

Orange Cake with Orange Syrup_2

Orange Cake Collage

 

Just so that we are clear…the cake and the syrup stay together. This cake is best served warm after the syrup has been allowed to soak into it for a few minutes. A brilliant transformation takes place and the cake just tastes that much better.

 

 Orange Cake with Orange Syrup_2

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my recipe today. Please take a look at the recipes by my fellow #SundaySupper bloggers.

 

Better with Citrus Breakfasts:

Big On Citrus Breads & Condiments:

Make You Pucker Salads, Sides, & Main Dishes:

Sour Citrusy Sweets & Desserts:

Sour Sips & Drinks:

***

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday, March 31st to talk all about citrus recipes!

We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST.

Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

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Jamaican Easter Spiced Bun #SundaySupper

Mar 24, 2013 by

Spring is here and slowly, the weather is coming around. The snow is almost melted and I’m excited for what the new season has to offer. Today for #SundaySupper, we are sharing Easter and Passover recipes and our wonderful host is Carla from Chocolate Moosey! You will find lots of Easter and Passover inspiration from the #SundaySupper bloggers at the end of the post. Be sure to check them out. We have a terrific line  up for you, as always.

It’s funny how you can have the worst week, yet there is always something that can help raise your spirits, or take your mind off things for a while. Stealing time to prepare my Easter Spiced Bun for #SundaySupper did just that for me this week. Out of nowhere, my routine got disrupted and I found myself riding a wave of change that I was just not expecting. Life throws things your way and you just have to swim. Sinking is not an option. Decisions have to be made and sometimes what you have to do, is essentially taking one for the team. I’m a true team player, especially for my family. So this past week was not for me at all. I sacrificed sleep, blogging and good nutrition so that I was able to get things done. My children have been absolute troopers! Waking up at 6am was unusual for them however, they managed to join me as I started my day like the wonderful little soldiers that they are. I can see this disruption coming to an end hopefully by the end of this week. I’m sure I will need time to recuperate. But I’m embracing the experience and summing it up to preparation for when the kids start school in the fall. Chances are, I still won’t be a morning person by then.

So on to this awesome Jamaican Easter Spiced Bun. I’ve made a few buns and I must say, I’m impressed by the variety that is out there. I’m not sure if people are just tired of a standard Easter Bun or are just willing to embrace change and experiment a little. I said to a friend of mine recently, who wasn’t so happy that I coined my Jamaican Zucchini Spiced Bun as being “Jamaican”, we can’t have just one variety of bun! Personally, I love that the main Jamaican publications are issuing Easter Cookbooks with many Easter Bun recipes. If there was only one recipe, I wouldn’t have a bun recipe to share with everyone on my blog this year. It is safe to say that as long as everyone is willing to get creative, I will have something wonderful to bake and share for Easter.

Wouldn’t you like to try this? A wonderful variation of a Jamaican Easter Bun … made with Red Label Wine.

 Jamaican Easter Spiced Bun_1

 

Here are the other Jamaican Easter Buns that I have made:

My very first Jamaican Easter Bun, made from a very old recipe that my Mom gave to me. I also added a brief history of the Jamaican Easter Bun

An absolute favourite of mine, Sweet Potato Bun

A moist and awesome twist on an Easter staple, Zucchini Spiced Bun 

 

Jamaican Easter Spiced Bun #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 10-12 slices

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups All Purpose Flour, Unbleached
  • 3 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 3 Tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup Red Label Wine (or a red wine of your choice)
  • 1 Cup Raisins
  • 1/4 Cup Boiling Water
  • 1/3 Cup Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1 Tsp Lime Juice
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 Tsp Salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Soak Raisins in 1/4 Cup boiling water, set aside
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, mixed spice, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg until foamy.
  5. Add sugar, butter and wine, beating after each addition.
  6. Gradually, add the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.
  7. Fold in the raisins along with any liquid from soaking.
  8. Transfer to a greased loaf pan, lined with parchment paper
  9. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  10. Optional glaze: 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar + 1/4 Cup Water. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes until thick. Brush all over then bun and then put the bun back in the oven for about 5 minutes.
  11. Allow to cool before slicing

Notes

Recipe adapted from Enid Donaldson's Real Taste Of Jamaica

http://lovelypantry.com/2013/03/jamaican-easter-spiced-bun-sundaysupper/

 

I turned to my favourite cookbook for this recipe. None other than Enid Donaldson’s The Real Taste Of Jamaica. I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen a recipe and decided that you were not going to make it that way. That is what happened with me. The original recipe called for 2 cups of brown sugar. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. So I just used a cup. I was also sure to use Mixed Spice, which I posted recently. I decided to increase the butter from 1 tablespoon to 1/3 Cup. I know, big difference – but it came out just great!

 

Jamaican Easter Spiced Bun_2

Jamaican Easter Spice Bun – Ingredients

 

The batter was quite firm, but I believe soaking the raisins and having the extra liquid helped to loosen it up while folding the raisins in.

 Jamaican Easter Spiced Bun Collage (prep)

 

Glazing a bun is totally optional. However I prefer the texture of the bun after it has been glazed. That little extra added sweetness is really something wonderful.

 

Jamaican Easter Spiced Bun_3

Jamaican Easter Spiced Bun – Glazed

 

I should note something about a Jamaican Bun. It is not a bread that is light and fluffy. It is a heavy, dense bread that is rich in flavours. In Jamaica, I enjoyed bun with Jamaican cheese. Since it can be quite pricey to get that type of cheese in North America, the next best thing (and probably better for you) is Cheddar Cheese. The cheddar that is closest in taste and texture is a sharp cheddar. We enjoyed ours with a mild cheddar that complimented the bun very well. Bun can be enjoyed as an open-faced sandwich as well as a sandwich type snack. I enjoy my cheese well secured between two slices of bun, with just a little butter to seal the deal.

 

Jamaican Easter Spiced Bun_5

Jamaican Easter Spiced Bun

 

Here are some Easter and Passover recipes to inspire you for this upcoming season!

Easter

Breakfast, Breads, and Buns

Appetizers and Sides

Main Dishes

Dessert

Passover

Dessert

Wine Pairing Recommendations for #SundaySupper Religious Feasts from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

 

***

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday, March 24 to talk all about Easter and Passover recipes!

We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world.

Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

 

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Mixed Spice

Mar 14, 2013 by

Some of the recipes that I come across may have ingredients that are a challenge for me to find. Sometimes it is due to my region. Of course, I don’t expect to find certain tropical fruit or ingredients in my neck of the woods. But there are some things that I can’t find no matter how hard I look. One of the ingredients that I kept coming across recently is Mixed Spice. I couldn’t find it so I decided to look up the ingredients and see what was in it. Apparently there are many recipes out there, quite a variety actually. I decided to make my own version to share with you all. I got myself a neat little jar to keep it in.

 

Mixed Spice_1

 

 

Mixed Spice

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp Allspice
  • 2 Tsp Mace
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cloves

Instructions

  1. In a storage jar, mix all ingredients together
http://lovelypantry.com/2013/03/mixed-spice/

 

I must say this is the easiest recipe I’ve ever posted. And perhaps the shortest.

 

Mixed Spice Collage

Do-It-Yourself: Mixed Spice

 

I have come across this ingredient in many cake and pudding recipes so I’m sure it will get used up in no time. I  have some Easter baking to do and now I have one less ingredient to worry about.

 

Mixed Spice_3

Mixed Spice

 

Cheers and happy baking!

~Lyn

 

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